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Alumni News

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Local gem hosts researchers throughout the decades

Rick Relyea (Ph.D. ‘99), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology alum, completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. During his time in EEB, Relyea worked with Earl Werner, now professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and fellow scientists at ESGR (including Keith Wittkopp, now an advisor in the Program in Biology). Reylea and his colleagues even spent a few years living at the ESGR while doing their research. One main reason for living and working at the ESGR is to support ongoing projects to which multiple generations of students and scientists have contributed. One ongoing project, led by Relyea and funded by the National Science Foundation, focuses on tadpoles tails and their responses to different environments and conditions. “Since I was a graduate student, one major area that I’ve worked on is understanding how animals respond to environmental change by changing their morphology, their behavior, their life history, which is when they breed and how often they breed,” said Relyea. “It occurred to me that we know a lot of experiments about how they change their morphology, but no one really knows how much of that is happening in nature. We have 17 years of preserved specimens, in this case, tadpoles. We could actually look and ask that question.”


Current EEB Students & Assistant Professor Weber talk with Alumna, Judith L. Bronstein
Judie Bronstein (Ph.D., ‘86) is perhaps the world’s expert on mutualisms. In fact, she wrote the book “Mutualism” in 2016. In fact, she wrote the book “Mutualism” in 2016. Judie is currently an University Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona. She has won numerous teaching and service awards and is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.Questions were written and asked by current EEB graduate students, Rosemary Glos, Carolyn Graham, Abrianna Soule, two Michigan State University students, Sylvie Martin-Eberhardt and Bruce Martin, and one EEB postdoc, Ash Zemenick in coordination with Marjorie Weber, assistant professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.


Michigan News: Hiss-toric firstU-M museum’s 70,000 snake specimens form world’s largest research collection

The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology recently acquired tens of thousands of scientifically priceless reptile and amphibian specimens, including roughly 30,000 snakes preserved in alcohol-filled glass jars.

The new acquisitions boost the university’s collection of reptiles and amphibians to roughly half a million specimens, including some 70,000 snakes. With the latest additions, U-M now maintains the largest research collection of snakes anywhere in the world, according to museum curators.

 Stevan Arnold received a doctorate degree from U-M in 1972 and relied on the UMMZ collection for his dissertation work.